'Project,' first iPad-only magazine, hits app-stands
Jeff Bridges flickers on-screen as the magazine Project loads onto the iPad. The inaugural issue of Richard Branson's Virgin iPad-only magazine hit the app store Tuesday. Currently on sale for $2.99 an issue, the magazine has been touted by Branson as the first digital magazine, much to the likely chagrin of thousands of online magazines.
At first scroll-through, it feels like any offering from GQ/Esquire/Wired dolled up with the fabulous sound and image offerings inherent to the iPad (my favorite: Jeff Bridges's gravely voice talking in 30- to 45-second clips about some of his most popular movies). The stories are also noticeably shorter than usual magazine feature offerings. The magazine will update throughout the month, adding more content and links as the story requires.
Always looking for a juicy fight, media reports have Branson rushing to release his magazine before Rupert Murdoch could get his iPad-only newspaper "The Daily" out the door. Though the Guardian reports Branson resolutely put those rumors to rest by declaring he was not looking for a battle, he would allow media watchers to judge him on a "battle of quality."
The two offerings are decidedly different beasts: Murdoch's newspaper will reportedly be a 100-person-staffed daily paper. The Project has 20 people on staff and offers up a more leisurely offering. Also, Murdoch's paper will have no outgoing or ingoing links, which David Carr at the New York Times found odd "at a time when the ecosystem of news is driven by links."
Branson has a history of switching industries and successfully tackling large corporations. It'll be interesting to watch how he takes on the media business and see whether the iPad is the magical tablet so many media companies hope it will be.
| December 1, 2010; 9:34 AM ET
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